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A Biochemist’s View of Life’s Origin Reframes Cancer and Aging
The biochemist Nick Lane thinks life first evolved in hydrothermal vents where precursors of metabolism appeared before genetic information. His ideas could lead us to think differently about aging and cancer.
Ancient Genes for Symbiosis Hint at Mitochondria’s Origins
Was the addition of mitochondria a first step in the formation of complex cells or one of the last? A new study of bacteria tries to answer this contentious question in evolutionary biology.
Cells Blaze Their Own Trails to Navigate Through the Body
With self-generated gradients of chemicals and physical tension, cells in the body steer themselves to vital destinations.
Most Complete Simulation of a Cell Probes Life’s Hidden Rules
A 3D digital model of a “minimal cell” leads scientists closer to understanding the barest requirements for life.
A Billion Years Before Sex, Ancient Cells Were Equipped for It
Molecular detective work is zeroing in on the origins of sexual reproduction. The protein tools for cell mergers seem to have long predated sex — so what were they doing?
At the Dawn of Life, Heat May Have Driven Cell Division
A mathematical model shows how a thermodynamic mechanism could have made protocells split in two.